Amid the recent violent clashes in Manipur, a video showing people firing bullets from machine guns is being circulated on social media with the claim that it depicts the ongoing conflict. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Scenes of protesters firing machine guns during recent clashes in Manipur.
Fact: This video is old and unrelated to the recent Manipur clashes, as it has been circulating online since 2019 on various Spanish-related Facebook and Instagram channels. Therefore, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
A reverse image search, utilizing keyframes extracted from the viral video, has shown that the same video has been circulating on various Facebook and Instagram handles related to guns and gaming since at least 2019.
The Manipur clashes are centred around the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the non-tribal Meitei community. The unrest began when the BJP-led government launched an eviction drive in February, which some saw as targeting a specific tribal group. Protests escalated on May 3 after the Manipur High Court directed the state to pursue a 10-year-old recommendation to grant ST status to the Meitei community. Tribal groups oppose this move, fearing a loss of job opportunities and the possibility of the Meiteis acquiring land in the hills, pushing the tribals out. The situation intensified with violent protests, arson, and a death on May 3 and 4 following a “tribal solidarity rally” against the move to include the Meiteis in the ST list. In response, the government deployed the army to regain control of the situation.
Consequently, the video in question predates the recent violent clashes that unfolded in Manipur. We contacted the previous uploaders of the video to determine if it is from a video game or a real incident and if it is indeed real, to gather more information, such as the location and context of the firing. This article will be updated accordingly once the necessary information is obtained.
To sum it up, an old and unrelated video is being falsely associated with the recent violent clashes in Manipur.